Argentina Apartment Blast Injures 60, Kills at Least 6

Dozens rescued from upper floors of burning building after blast likely caused by gas leak

 

 
 
 

Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press | | Tuesday, August 6, 2013

GALLERIES

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Argentina Apartment Blast

At least 51 injured, 5 killed, as natural gas explosion destroys tall apartment building in Argentina.
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BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A natural gas explosion destroyed a tall apartment building in the Argentine city of Rosario on Tuesday, killing at least six people, injuring more than 60 and causing an evacuation of much of the downtown.

Dozens of people were trapped in the upper floors of the burning building as a huge plume of smoke went up over the country's third-largest city. The building's front and back facades were ripped open, exposing the shattered remains of apartments inside.

Firefighters working from above and below pulled people out of windows and off balconies as the bottom floors burned. The explosion damaged other buildings for blocks around, and fearing a collapse, police closed buildings and schools in a five-block radius.

The six people killed in the blast were adults, Santa Fe Provincial Health Minister Miguel Cappiello told Argentina's Todo Noticias channel. He said rescuers were still looking for people in the rubble.

Municipal Health Secretary Leonardo Caruana told Todo Noticias that the injured were being treated in hospitals across the city and that three of them had critical injuries.

Rosario's civil defense director, Raul Rainones, told the local Diarios y Noticias agency that the explosion appeared to have been caused by a gas leak.

The Litoral Gas company cut off gas flow to much of downtown.

The fire took three hours to extinguish and left the building in serious danger of collapse, firefighters said.

Buildings were damaged for several blocks surrounding the blast, which sent bricks and glass and cement crashing onto the street. Eleven schools were evacuated, and several shops and other apartment buildings were damaged.

Security Secretary Sergio Berni offered the services of the border police and coast guard to help local authorities.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Argentina Apartment Blast

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Burning Building

Firemen stand in debris caused by a gas explosion that has severely damaged a multi-story apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013 . People were trapped in the upper floors of the burning building, which sent a huge plume of smoke over the city, and authorities feared it could collapse. The explosion ripped off the building’s facade and also damaged other buildings for blocks around. AP Photo/Alfredo Gomez


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Awaiting Rescue

A woman stands near a window, trapped in the upper floor of a building damaged by a strong explosion, in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. AP Photo/Alfredo Gomez


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Lost Facade

Firemen rescue trapped persons after a gas explosion severely damaged a multi-story apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. The explosion ripped off the building’s facade and also damaged other buildings for blocks around. AP Photo/Alfredo Gomez


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Helping Hands

People rescue a woman after a strong explosion shook a building this morning damaging three nearby buildings in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. Authorities say a gas explosion has severely damaged a multi-story apartment building in the Argentine city of Rosario, killing at least five people and injuring at least 51, including 3 critically. AP Photo/Alfredo Gomez


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Woman Rescued

People rescue a woman after a gas explosion severely damaged a multi-story apartment building in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. AP Photo/Alfredo Gomez


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Smoke Plume

Smoke rises after a strong explosion shook a building, damaging three nearby buildings in Rosario, Argentina, Tuesday morning, Aug. 6, 2013. Preliminary reports said the explosion was registered at the building’s central heating system and was probably caused by a gas leak. AP Photo/Andres Ponte



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